Thursday, August 7, 2014

How I Conquered The 45 Minute Intruder

One of the most frustrating things about motherhood is when your baby wakes up halfway into their nap. It can literally ruin the rest of your day. Naps and babies can be really hard. There are many books and countless websites offering advice simply on how to get your baby to nap.
I have always struggled with Campbell and his naps. He sleeps wonderfully at night but nap times have always been a challenge. I could/can get him down for those naps very easily but about 30-45 minutes in, he would wake up crying. This resulted in me having to run up to his room, work to get him back to sleep, then hold him the rest of the time so he would get in those 2(ish) hours that he needed.

I spent so much time on Google trying to find a solution to this 45 minute nap intruder. Every website offered the same advice, none of which was the problem. 
Is your room dark enough? Yes.
Do you have white noise? Yes.
Is the baby hungry? No.
Is the baby overly fatigued? No.
Is the baby not tired? No.
Is the baby on a schedule? Yes. A very rigid one actually.

After doing my research, I decided that Campbell was a habitual waker---A baby who was waking up after 30-45 minutes into his nap out of habit and not from hunger or distress. Why was this happening? Apparently babies are in their REM sleep for the first 30 minutes before they transition into that deep sleep. Some babies need help making the transition into that deep sleep. Enter the 'Wake To Sleep' Method. The idea behind it is to "support" your baby into that next sleep cycle by lightly rousing and gently easing them into that deep sleep. 
It all sounded like the solution to my problem but how in the world was I supposed to do this? That's pretty risky business waking, but not waking, your baby up from a nap. I thought about it for a minute when suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. I was fairly certain right then and there that I found the solution to our nap problem.
Campbell takes naps in the Rock N Play, in his swaddle, with one arm out. The little peanut snoozes hard in his crib for 11 hours at night without a swaddle but that just does not work for naps. While the Rock N Play was working better for naps than the crib, he still wasn't getting in that full nap like he needed to. Enter the 'wake to sleep' idea.
The Rock N Play has a vibrator button on it. I wondered if I tip toed into Campbell room after he had been asleep for 30 minutes and flipped that vibrator on if it would wake him just enough to get him to pass through into that next sleep cycle. So I tried it.
Sure enough, I figured out the solution to the 45 minute intruder!!! It's as simple as that. Turn on the RNP vibrator after 30 minutes.

Why yes, actually, I would be happy to take a minute for a round of applause.

Unless you've been there, you have no idea how good this feels. Not just that Campbell gets in some super awesome naps now....with zero crying....but that I was able to figure this thing out, Mommy brain and all!
I have no idea what I'm going to do when Campbell gets too big for his swaddle....and the Rock N Play. Can I custom order both in an extra large? 


  1. I will be trying this!!! Is Campbell able to sleep through the 45 minute intruder without the vibration now?

    1. He takes great naps now! He's a little older since I wrote this post. Right after he turned 7 months old I was able to lay him down in his crib, sleepy but awake, and he now goes to sleep all on his own. It's amazing!! My vibration technique worked great until he got too big for his swaddle and rock n play.
      Good luck! I hope it works for you!!!

  2. So the vibration didn't work for us, he's such a heavy sleeper those first 30 minutes he snored right through it. He wasn't even phased when I rocked or jiggled him. First nap was a bust but the second nap I ended up lifting him out of the sleeper and putting him back in when his eyes started to flutter. He's been napping for over an hour now and I'm ecstatic!!! He's 7 months today and this has been going on since 3 months. Hopefully no more nursing back to sleep. Woo hoo! Thanks so much for the wake to nap idea!!!

    1. That's awesome!! It feels so amazing to accomplish nap time. Why are naps so hard? Ugh! Hopefully it continues to work and he breaks the habit of waking up halfway through naps so you don't have to go in there anymore. Fingers crossed for you!